Another way to seek justice in the public square.
What if conservative Christians of any stripe, Catholic or Protestant, tried to conserve the teachings of their faith by living them–those words about loving the enemy, turning the other cheek, serving the poor, giving up one’s life for the neighbor?
What if, instead of waving the battle flag of success and victory, they lifted high the cross of Christ as the paradigm of their faith?
What if they rejected legislating or court packing as a way to insist on their own way in the public square?
What if, instead, they first tried to persuade others through gentle, reasoned speech and sacrificial love, so that when legislation is passed, a great national consensus would prevail, making it politically and morally unthinkable to reverse it for generations to come?
What if, instead of treating their cultural enemies with contempt, they invited them to dinner and listened long and hard to their views?
What if instead of responding with counter arguments immediately, they let these views sit with them for a few days in prayer and tried to learn from them?
What if, in the meantime, they sought ways to love these neighbors in practical ways, in everyday acts of kindness and mercy, and by praying daily for their welfare?
What if instead of demanding that others change their ways, they looked in themselves and sought first to change their own hearts and lives in accord with the teachings of our Lord?
What if, in the cause of life, they strove to act and speak in ways that ever more consistently promoted a culture of life, that is, with love?
What if, instead of praising “strongmen” who punch at their political enemies, they honored leaders who demonstrated quiet strength—humility, patience, and charitable engagement?
What if, when they feel compelled to speak truth plainly, they did so not with a self-righteousness that condemns, but with a sadness that longs for goodness to prevail?
What if conservative Christians were known less for their politics and more for their mercy, so that when they spoke about the saving work of Jesus Christ, that message would not be mocked but, by God’s grace, believed?
What if conservative Christians strove to conserve—“kept in a safe or sound state”—the great teachings of our Lord, in both word and deed?